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Growing Up vs. Older

HOW FAIR you are, my love [he said], how very fair! Your eyes behind your veil [remind me] of those of a dove; your hair [makes me think of the black, wavy fleece] of a flock of [the Arabian] goats which one sees trailing down Mount Gilead [beyond the Jordan on the frontiers of the desert]. Song of Solomon 4:1 Amplified

I found my first gray hairs the other day.  Actually my roommate found them as I was preparing to do some routine curl maintenance.  Recently I began wearing my hair out.  No color, extensions, braids or weaves or even wigs; just me all natural.  The idea of wearing my hair in all its virgin glory is not new.  About 6 years ago I cut my dreadlocks after 12 years of growing them.  My hair at one point was actually passed my rump.

However, making the decision to go back to natural was BIG.  I have been learning how to feel comfortable in my own skin and have been transitioning my hair from relaxed to its current curly state for the last three years.   Throughout that period, no one else outside of me, my roommate and my hair stylists had seen my real tresses, not even my fiancée.  I was under wraps for so long that I wasn’t even sure of my hair’s length.

Yet Nicole walking behind me and screaming and laughing; “I see gray hairs!!! Ha ha ha” was not what I wanted to hear.  In the heat of the moment, I did what they tell you not to do; I plucked them out because I did not believe her.  For years, she has joked about seeing gray hairs in my head.  I have gone so far as to rebuke her comments in the past in jest.  The thought of growing older was just not appealing to me.  I had so many things I wanted to do before the appearance of “The Grays”.  So to confirm this was not just another time she was messing with me; I pulled them out.  Well this time she was telling the truth.

Sure enough when “The Grays” were firmly in my hands; I could not deny their existence.  They were real!  After my very loud “No”; I took a breath and started to think of all the things I had said I wanted to accomplish before my first sighting of grays.  Yes, I actually have a “Grays Bucket List”.  Nicole at this point after finally getting control of herself (she had been laughing at me during the entire ordeal); left me there alone.  Yes, I know that is a bit dramatic, but hey this was my rare moment…

Wisdom, she comes to you not with age, but through experience.

She is not haughty or boastful.  She is real and direct.

Never careless, but thoughtful; she can make you thankful and want to offer praise.  How gracious a lady she is; dainty even.

She nurtures you, and guides you if you let her and brings you wealth beyond your wildest dreams.

Her worth and value cannot be measured; priceless is she.

Wisdom I would take over Smarts any day.

© 2012 – 2014, Lela Jefferson Fagan. All rights reserved.

Lela Fagan (Jefferson) is the author of the book “Poetry of a Black Girl: The Darkness and the Light” and lead blogger at “Memoirs of a Black Girl”. Lela is an avid reader “A Real Bookworm” of all things in print. She finds joy in sharing socially and blogging about topics that matter the most to her. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. Lela now lives in Houston, TX with her husband Oji, an educator and Football Coach. @LelaJefferson - See more at:

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